Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Health Update

All bloodwork came out clean. Apparently I'm suffering from anxiety. :P

I'm supposed to "eat better and get more exercise". :P I exercise over an hour a day 5 days a week. But I agree with the eating better.

I'm back on potassium, something I took when I was pregnant both times. I feel better already, just from taking the first dose of potassium. I was also given something to take to help with the anxiety. I'll take my first dose tonight at bedtime so hopefully it will help me return to "normal".

In other news, we had to update a couple of documents for our adoption, and I have been waiting (im)patiently for them to return from the state since last Monday. They came today so I headed out this afternoon to Fed Ex to send them to San Fran to the consulate. I'm hoping they will have the quick turnaround that some of my other adopting friends are having.

Never Dull

I started having some trouble with my left arm/shoulder over the weekend. I didn't think too much about it; I figured I overdid it at the gym last week or something. It has gotten progressively more concerning so at my doctor's appointment yesterday (I had an appointment from a couple of weeks ago set to discuss our travel plans and medications) I mentioned it to him. He sent me home with a script for an MRI thinking I have a pinched nerve in my neck somewhere that's causing the pain. After leaving there I met a friend to do some baby shopping/talking and after I left her to meet up with my mom, I had hot flashes and nausea/dizziness. Of course, by now my doctor was gone for the day so I called my friend David, who's a cardiologist. I was really freaking out that there was something cardiac going on. He had me come in and did an EKG. He asked tons of questions and sent me for labwork. I did my labwork this morning, and we're waiting for the results to come in. Both David and my regular doctor just think I'm having panic/anxiety attacks, as they are the same symptoms as many cardiac things. I don't know what's going on, and to be honest, didn't think I was particularly stressed anymore. I know I've been pretty tense the last couple of weeks, but I thought all of that had kind of gone away in the last week or so. But I was pretty freaked out yesterday.


I met up with my friend Kim and we went to BRU yesterday. It was quite amusing from the very beginning, because it seemed like everyone thought we were a couple. :-) (Background on Kim: She's about 32 weeks pregnant with twins!)

I got a gun, so I could add things to my registry, but Kim did not get one. Of course the person at the desk thought we were "together".

Then we were looking at breastfeeding tools, and bottles, and discussing the varieties of supplies for each and we ended up talking with a woman in that department. I am pretty sure she thought we were together too, but Kim and I cleared that one up. :-)

We moved on to look at car seats and then strollers. I was showing her the ones Dan and I liked, and asked another employee to help us figure out how to fold them up. Then I was asking some other questions (how many returns do you have on them, which is the better seller, any complaints). I'm pretty sure he thought we were together.

As we're walking down different aisles in the store, we are seeing other customers, and I suspect we got some funny looks from them as well. At one point Kim asked me if she was getting the vibe that people thought we were lesbians. I said that I totally got that vibe. She said that I was acting like the "dad" because I was asking all the questions, while she was the one all pregnant. :-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It's been a while...

So I haven't said much around here in a few days. I'm not feeing quite so overwhelmed anymore. As soon as I chose fabric for the nursery, all those feelings over being overwhelmed just went away. It's a wonderful feeling.

On Saturday, we went to a party, and got to share the news of our adoption with several friends. It's weird, though. One would think that we'd be sending e-mails and making phone calls with our news, but we just really haven't. We sent a few here and there, and made phone calls to those who needed to be told (grandparents, parents, best friends), but mostly we've been taking the news a day at a time and as we see people.

At the party, we checked out the room of their daughter. She's about 7-8 right now, and still have her baby furniture, and most of the decor is from her nursery days. Her fabrics are beautiful, but she's beginning to feel like it's a little childish, and wants a "cooler" room. So her mom has been out shopping and is doing a sort of Arabian theme in there. It's going to be great. As a result of redecorating, they are getting rid of her old furniture. She has a tall dresser and a shorter dresser/changing table w/ tower. It's a natural/honey color but the tops are a slate blue. It's great. We offered to purchase their furniture from them, and they gave us a pretty good deal. That's done! They are willing to keep it until we have space for it-hopefully less than two weeks, and this will help narrow our crib search down to cribs that are in the same color family.

We started working on a registry. We have received awesome gifts from my parents, grandparents and my Godmother in the form of cash. This will cover cribs/matresses, the furniture we're buying from our friends, and a double stroller. If we spend it right, it should cover two car seats as well. Some amazing friends have already showered me with gifts. Offers are coming in from everywhere for clothing, toys, etc. It's just been amazing. I have wonderful friends, and have met awesome strangers! We've put a lot of books and non music making/light blinking toys on our registry. We also included a note on the BRU one saying something to the effect of not wanting stimulating colored toys/fabrics. We want to introduce those things very slowly, so hopefully people will honor that. And, if you haven't looked at baby toys lately, it's almost impossible to find something that doesn't blink, light up, sing, make noise, or is otherwise very stimulating!

I have had multiple people tell me that they wanted to throw me a shower, and that has been wonderful. It looks like we'll have it July 21. We're hoping to have already traveled and returned home by then. I wanted to do it on June 23 originally, but that isn't good for one of the hostesses. Anyway, the plan is to do it as an "Open House" setting, because of the number of people who want to be invited. My mom has 18 friends alone who are itching to come to the shower! If all is going well at home, I'll be able to take the boys with me to the shower. :-)

There's no real news to report about our travel time frame. We got our Visa's back last week, so the earliest we can enter Vietnam is June 6th. We have papers at the SOS right now, which will hopefully arrive back here in the next day or so, so we can get them off to the Embassy. Those papers are the only thing holding up our travel (or rather, could hold up our travel since we can't leave before June 5th.).

Monday, May 7, 2007


If I have to wait a full three months before traveling, I will go absolutely stark raving crazy.

I want to go NOW!

In other news, I'm going outside to stain the woodwork that will go in the kitchen. :-)

To-Do List

Visa Application:
  • Cover letter
  • Original Passport
  • Visa application form - Dan
    • Filled out and signed
    • Passport photo attached
    • Money Orders $150 total
    • Completed checklist at bottom of application
  • Visa application form - Shannon
    • Filled out and signed
    • Passport photo attached
    • Money Orders $150 total
    • Completed checklist at bottom of application
  • Money Orders
    • $70 - Memo line: Visa Fee - Daniel
    • $80 - Memo line: Multi-entries processing fee - Daniel
    • $70 - Memo line: Visa Fee - Shannon
    • $80 - Memo line: Multi-entries processing fee - Shannon
  • Pre-paid return envelope - Use US Express Mail, US Certified Mail, or Priority Mail, with delivery confirmation

1233 20th Street, NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20036

Agency Paperwork:

  • Referral Acceptance Letter - Original
    • Signed and notarized - 5/5/07
    • Faxed to agency 5/6/07 confirmation of receipt 8:42am, 5/7/07
  • Photo Release Form
    • Signed
    • Attach letter stating our decision will be amended after our return trip
  • Travel Form
    • Filled out
  • Power of Attorney - 4 originals
    • Sign and print name only
  • Commitment Letter - 8 originals
    • Sign and print name only
  • Letter to the DIA stating we are honored to accept the referral - 2 original
    • Sign - not necessary to have notarized
  • FedEx all documents to agency

  • 12 photocopies of passport signature page - to do before sending passports with Visa Application
  • Photocopy each document, for our records
  • Begin making travel arrangements
  • Call doctor office to request an updated medical letter
    • Have Medical letter notarized
    • Certified by the SOS
    • Authenticated by the Embassy

Travel Route for this afternoon:

  • Central Florida Educator's Credit Union
    • Certified Check for Country Fee
    • $300 Cash for Visa Fees
  • Amscot (You're okay with us!)
  • FedEx/Kinko's
  • Starbucks
  • USPS
  • JC Penney's
  • Target
  • Babie's R Us

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Well, I think the title says it all. I am so overwhelmed by the last few days that I don't even know where to begin. I can't even process everything at this point.

Yesterday, I was so...I dunno... We signed our acceptance letter for our referral about 9:15am. Then it was off to the VN restaurant close to the bank to celebrate with Vietnamese egg rolls. A quick trip to Lowes followed, and then we were home again. I spent much of the late morning/early afternoon on the phone with friends and family. About 2pm I crashed on the couch with a Lost DVD, and just sat there. We had dinner with family last night, and got home around 10pm. It was back on the phone with more family last night, sending a few e-mails to those who should be told individually (as opposed to a mass e-mail), and in bed about midnight. I took two Tylenol and two Benedryl, and actually got some sleep.

Today we went to church, and then I went to the grocery store. This afternoon? I've just sat at the computer or on the couch, just completely and totally overwhelmed.

My stomach is in a constant state of flip-flops, and I don't even know where to begin. We have SO much to do in such a short period of time. I wish we knew a travel date, and while we don't have one yet, we're working off of the hope that our paperwork is accurate in telling us to get our Visa, and date it one month from referral acceptance. That means we could travel as early as June 5th! Holy cow. That's like 30 days from now. Do you know how much stuff we have to do???? I just don't know what to do first.

Instead of doing ANYTHING today, I have spent the afternoon playing and losing multiple hands of Gin on Yahoo. I can't even follow the game closely enough to play it!

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Twins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

Saturday, May 5, 2007


If you're looking at this picture and wondering what the heck it's all about...well...hold on to your hats! We got our referral on Thursday!

Despite the outfit colors, you are looking at twin boys. Right now their names are Vinh (left) and Thanh (right). They were born on January 19, 2007, so they are three and a half months old as of today.

We are thrilled to report that as of this morning, we have officially accepted the referral. Keep checking for more information as soon as we get over the shock of this amazing news!

Friday, May 4, 2007

I guess you could say I'm a little bit distracted

See what I did to my finger tonight???

I was working on dinner, and sliced the heck out of my finger. It bled like crazy...
We went to the urgent care center and they did steri strips (my request) instead of stitches. It hurts like crazy, and is all swollen/bruised. :-(

Thursday, May 3, 2007

A good report!

Dan and I spoke with Dr. Johnson with the University of Minnesota. He was wonderful on the phone, and took a lot of time to talk through everything.

We uploaded the pictures and medicals to the UM website, with a plea that they be looked at quickly, and that we hear from them ASAP. With receiving the referral on a Thursday, we were a bit concerned that the clock would be ticking on our acceptance/denial (we'd been hearing that people needed to respond within three days, which would have put us in the middle of the weekend). I did this at 1:30pm today.

I walked in the door at 5:02pm, and Dan was on the phone with the doctor. His words were: "These are beautiful baby boys. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't accept this referral. Congratuations." Such great words! We asked tons of questions, and he eased our minds about everything.

We spent the evening in Tampa watching the Minnesota Twins get beaten by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. How ironic that we were watching a Twins game while discussing our referral of twins! It hit me in the middle of the game...I turned to Dan and said, "Oh no! TWO baseball players!" He thought this was SOOOOOOO funny.

We have decided to accept the referral, but can't do it officially until our Referral Accpetance packet comes in the mail. It should arrive on Friday.

Unofficial News

I woke up this morning a little later than normal. Typically during the week I head out to the YMCA for a water fitness class that starts at 9:30am. This morning I overslept and couldn't get out the door in time.

So, instead of hitting the gym, I checked my e-mail. There was this very nonchalant message from Bonnie, our coordinator:

Good morning Shannon and Dan,

A set of twin baby boys is in need of a family. Their date of birth if January 19, 2007. I’ve attached their photos in case you are interested.

If you are open to considering them email me and I can email you their medical information.

Thank you,


Uhm, yes! We're interested. I replied immediately asking for further information, medical and such. I didn't even ask Dan first, since he was on the phone for work. We have read over all the information, written back and forth with Bonnie a bit to find out what some of it means (since all the medicals are in Vietnamese/French), and now we are anxiously awaiting a phone call from a doctor with the University of Minnesota International Adoption clinic. We're hoping for good news!